Macy’s Incorporation: Communication Management


Effective organization communication is a recipe for proactive employee development and motivation, especially in the 21st-century work environment. To have an effective employee staffing and development, the existing organization communication systems should be modeled around the management strategies. This paper presents a comparative review of the management communication systems of two managers at Macy’s Incorporation. Besides, the paper examines the most effective manager in performing his duties. Also, the paper explains the potential long-term consequences of each manager’s approach within the Macy’s Incorporation store.

Management communication systems of the two managers

The first manager uses the autocratic communication approach characterized by making all the decisions without necessarily consulting the subordinates. Since he is mandated with the responsibility of making a decision, he then communicates these resolutions to other subordinates who must obey the decisions without questioning the manager (Olmstead, 2011). For example, within the apparel section of the Macy’s Store, the manager applied an autocratic leadership style by taking full control of all leadership roles such as being very active in making all decisions and issuing instructions to subordinate staff members on the guidelines that must be followed periodically.

The second manager uses a participatory communication approach to reach out to other subordinates. According to Modaff et al. (2008), a participatory leadership style is basically “a system in which employees of a business organization take an active role in the decision-making process as it relates to the way the business operates” (p. 29). Among the notable traits of the participatory leadership style practiced by the second manager are integrated level of responsibly for each employee, inclusive teamwork, and inclusive strategy of managing different aspects of the store’s jeweler section.

The basics of these communication systems are similar in the sense that they promote stability in the communication channel between management agents and employees towards creating a healthy and motivational work environment (Vaccaro et al., 2012). With the aid of a command application through communication gadgets, the two managers were capable of proper selection and execution of different leadership styles to pass information in managing the performance channel of the store (Olmstead, 2011). This means that selecting an appropriate medium, which is the communication gadget, in this case, was the password to an effective work environment for employees. The leadership communication channel at the store consists of formal and informal elements that are applied simultaneously, despite being distinct through the messaging gadget (Vaccaro et al., 2012).

The most effective manager

The second manager is more effective in performing duties since his participatory approach in duty execution seems to auger well with the employees. The formal communication channel in-store encompasses properly defined and visible systems for encoding and decoding information in the form decisions made at different hierarchal steps by this manager (Olmstead, 2011). The formal communication channel is critical in influencing the deviation and innovation period that the store takes to communicate and track feedback for different decisions that affect the relationship among the employees (Vaccaro et al., 2012). Besides, the formal communication channel has internalized other significant elements of effective organizational communication such as leadership ethics in passing information and proactive inclusion of employees to ensure that the decisions made are not only sustainable but also friendly to the current and future work culture (Olmstead, 2011).

In each case, that is different communication approaches, the impacts created were the same. The integration of communication ethics in the formal communication channel was a password to a healthy work environment and inclusive employee participation (Modaff et al., 2008). The informal communication channel encompasses the grapevine or Intra employee relationship networks that control the group behavior and response to different stimuli, which directly affects the performance and state of mind of the parties involved (Vaccaro et al., 2012). In these scenarios, a properly structured informal communication channel was the password to a holistic, balanced, and socially acceptable work environment within the store.

Since the approaches adopted by the two managers created a healthy communication culture in the store, by balancing the formal and informal channels to ensure that the management and subordinates are included in decisions, the store seemed to have perfected optimal performance among the employees. In an environment where there is balance in the two channels, “salience, time, and willingness to communicate increase” (Modaff et al., 2008, p. 23). This is evident by good work culture, adherence to organization goals, and proactive involvement of all employees since there are clear engagement rules and organization culture parameters (Vaccaro et al., 2012). Therefore, the organization’s communication channels of the store are modified to the highest level possible ineffectiveness to guarantee stability in performance at minimal conflict levels.

Long-term consequences of each approach

Participatory communication channel

The primary principle of a sustainable and ideal model of communication in an organization incorporates different rules that steer management and subordinates towards efficiency and general success. In this case, the principle is in the form of a properly structured hierarchal ladder in the decision system and response channels for the management and subordinates (Olmstead, 2011). Through this approach, the employees of the store are empowered by the authority and influence ladder to dispense duties and present solutions to different challenges within a consultative matrix. Since this aspect has been internalized at the Macy’s Inc, the aspects of appreciation and recognition will dominate in the motivation strategies that might be applied to promote optimal performance within set targets in the long-run (Modaff et al., 2008).

Autocratic communication approach

The functionality of an organization is determined by the efficiency of different communication styles applied, especially in managing the relationship between managers and subordinates (Vaccaro et al., 2012). In the case of the autocratic approach, the relationship between the manager in the Macy’s Incorporation and employees is friendly and dynamic enough to ensure that channels of encoding and decoding information can facilitate proactive warm existence. This means that Macy’s Incorporation has a protected channel for managing and tracking this relationship to minimize conflicts that might be destructive (Modaff et al., 2008).

The autocratic communication approach has created a stable channel of command from the top management to the subordinates to ensure that decisions made are implemented in the most professional way (Olmstead, 2011). When properly implemented, the business is likely to activate productive behavior, which is ideal for the growth and development of the organization and employees in the long-run (Modaff et al., 2008). In the end, the organization environment will be friendly to the employee and encouraging individuals to perform optimally since there are structures that reward good work, manage employee expectations, and motivate creativity in the execution of roles assigned.


Modaff, D., DeWine, S., & Butler, J. (2008). Organizational communication: Foundations, challenges, and misunderstandings. New York, NY: Pearson Education.

Olmstead, J. (2011). Creating the functionally competent organization: An open systems approach. New York, NY: Quorum Books.

Vaccaro, G., Jansen, P., Bosch, J., & Volberda, H. (2012). Management innovation and leadership: The moderating role of organizational size. Journal of Management Studies, 49(1), 28-51.